Dr. Steven Gundry, a former cardiologist and author of “The Plant Paradox”, walked away from doing pediatric heart surgery when he discovered that he could do more good teaching his patients how to eat. He keeps all his patients away from foods containing a sticky protein called Lectin. Lectins are compounds found in most grains, beans, nuts and seeds that mimic insulin, binding to sugars and preventing the absorption of minerals and vitamins.
Gluten, the protein found in all wheat that gives bread its spongy quality, is also a Lectin. Aside from Celiac sufferers, who should avoid it completely, it is believed that all of us are Gluten sensitive. Gluten eventually pokes holes in the gut lining causing damage that can lead to autoimmune responses from a “leaky gut”. Don’t be fooled by the “Gluten Free” aisles in the supermarket - now a multi-billion dollar industry. It’s nice that the industrial food complex has removed gluten from the refined wheat they use to make cookies and cakes, but don’t forget to look for added sugars, fillers and dangerous vegetable oils in those products. Read the labels and remember that you are still eating junk food - with the gluten removed.
It’s no surprise that cultures have been eating legumes and grains for centuries with no problems; they knew how to prepare them. For instance, white rice is healthier than brown rice because in white rice, the hull where the Lectins live are removed. If you are eating white rice, make sure to balance the portion with good fats and protein to dampen the high glycemic load. Eat sourdough bread or sprouted bread, instead of regular refined breads. Fermented foods are lectin free foods, so load up on sauerkraut! Since Lectins are found in the seeds, hulls and skin of the plant, removing them will remove the problem. Your Italian grandmother knew what she was doing when she removed the seeds and skins from the tomatoes and eggplants.
Here’s how to begin:
- Soak your beans, grains, nuts and seeds in water (See chart below). You can add 1 or 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or a little sea salt to speed up the process.
- Drain, rinse and pressure cook, eat raw or turn into nut or seed milk.
- Sprout, this is fun and easy. After soaking, put what you are soaking in quart sized jars covered in cheesecloth, rinse and place jar under the sink or in a dark place. Rinse twice a day until sprouts begin to form (about two days). Refrigerate and enjoy.
Here’s a simple recipe to try:
2.) Add enough water to cover- about 2 cups- soak for 12 hours.
3.) Drain the liquid through a strainer and add soaked nuts to any household blender. I am a big fan of the Vitamix.
4.) Add 3 to 4 cups of water to the blender along with any flavor-enhancing ingredients, if desired (coconut/vanilla are a good combo). Blend on high speed until consistency is smooth (about one to two minutes).
5.) Pour liquid through a strainer or cheesecloth, and enjoy!